Blog Assignment #9 – Free Film Choice: The Grand Budapest Hotel

by Vincent Thorne

The Grand Budapest Hotel: a bright, light, enjoyable, humorous and, of course, symmetrical piece of Art from our dear Wes Anderson.

Wes Anderon’s style has, from the very beginning, impressed me a lot. My first encounter with him might have been two years ago, when I went to watch Moonrise Kingdom in a local theatre. Before that, I was totally unaware such a character existed in the film industry. A character, because it is really the personality of Wes Anderson that shows through his movies. More exactly, it is his inner world and crazy imagination that he puts on film. I admire him for the courage he has to defy Hollywood’s canon. More precisely in The Grand Budapest Hotel, the way he manages to bring animation to perfectly fit the narrative is particularly impressive: it is part of the world he created and flows utterly.

An animated sequence in The Grand Budapest Hotel

An animated sequence in The Grand Budapest Hotel

In its self, the story was not, for me at least, the most stunning part of the movie. I really appreciated the mystery surrounding the concierge as well as the reference to an old age from a multiple period point of view, and found it gave a particular depth to the movie who could have stayed quite superficial and solely stylish without this mystery and “time traveling” aspect. I would like to develop a little more on the latter element I mentioned. By setting the narration on three different time periods, Wes Anderson gave a very very particular feel to the movie. In fact, each one of the periods was treated in its most stereotypical aspects, making it immediately recognizable to the attentive audience. Putting those eras next to each other made a special and profound effect on me which I appreciated a lot.

Wes Anderson and Jude Law in the 1970s version of the hall of the Grand Budapest Hotel

Wes Anderson and Jude Law in the 1970s version of the hall of the Grand Budapest Hotel

Finally, how could I not mention the unique style of Wes Anderson? The continuity and strength of his visuals across his movies is just impressive. The blend between film and animation, the colorful and crisp photography, and of course the systematic of the shots are remarkable and recurrent features of his films, making him a quite rare type of directors in the contemporary film industry. Somehow makes me wonder where is the style of all the other Hollywood film makers? Tricky question.

You’ll find below a very accurate description of Anderson’s style by kogonada; simple, smart and beautiful.

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